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Manitoba to adopt guidelines from COACH

WINNIPEG – Another Canadian province has moved a step closer to the broad and consistent application of best practices in the collection, use and disclosure of sensitive personal health information. Recently, the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority and Manitoba eHealth signed a three-year agreement with COACH for its health information and privacy guidelines.

This agreement enables the use and distribution of the COACH Guidelines for the Protection of Health Information across the entire Manitoba provincial healthcare system.

The agreement, finalized at the end of March, provides Manitoba with province-wide use of the Guidelines for public and private sector healthcare organizations. Similar agreements were set up between COACH and the Alberta and Saskatchewan health ministries in 2007.

The Guidelines document is a practical, easy-to-use electronic resource for minimizing risk, maximizing integrity and protecting the privacy of sensitive personal health information. Aligned with national and international standards, principles-based, focused on healthcare practices, and broadly applicable, the latest 182-page edition was published in January 2008.

“The Guidelines thoroughly support our privacy and security requirements,” said Wilma Arsenault, Divisional Director of Government Relations and Business Office for Manitoba eHealth. “This tool is essential in bringing privacy and security consistency and best practices to many of Manitoba’s eHealth initiatives. This is especially relevant as the Electronic Health Record (EHR) is beginning to be established across Manitoba.”

“The EHR is a major factor in COACH’s desire to make a pan-Canadian set of Guidelines fully relevant, up-to-date and aligned with Canada Health Infoway and international standards,” commented COACH CEO Don Newsham. “There is an urgent need for easy to use and immediately applicable tools for protecting the confidentiality and integrity of personal health information while simultaneously enabling healthcare professionals to access the information they need to provide appropriate and safe care to Canadians everywhere.”

More information The Guidelines are available to all jurisdictions under a license agreement with COACH that provides a subscription to the content and annual updates as part of the multi-year agreement. The Guidelines are also available at single and quantity discount rates. For more information, including a copy of the Preface and Table of Contents, visit

COACH: Canada’s Health Informatics Association, is dedicated to promoting the use and practice of health informatics within the Canadian health system through information sharing, networking, education, conferences and communication. Founded in 1975, COACH has a diverse and multi-disciplinary membership of more than 1,300 individuals with common interests in sharing ideas and efforts. COACH is advancing the practice of health informatics and is one of the most dynamic resources in the health industry in Canada.

For more information, contact COACH at:
Phone: (416) 494-9324, toll free 1-888-253-8554